RocketNews 24/Anime News Network/Forbes:
The end is nigh for Betamax, Sony’s 40-year-old analogue video format. Amazingly, the obsolete video format only just died.
The Japanese conglomerate said it would officially stop shipping its antiquated Betamax videocassettes as of March 2016 in a blog post on the company’s Japanese website. The company also said it would exit its Micro MV cassette business—another failed format—at the same time.
Sony debuted Betamax magnetic tapes in 1975. A year later, the electronics company Victor Company of Japan—now known as JVC Kenwood Holdings —introduced VHS, or Video Home System, a competing format that famously triumphed among consumers during the home entertainment boom of the ’80s.
The company explained that it is ending sales in these formats in light of the changing marketplace, due to the end of analog television broadcasts in Japan in 2012, the decreased demand, and other factors.
The Betamax video cassette is a format of recordable magnetic tape media that Sony developed for home video use. The company started manufacturing the players and tapes in 1975. Sony had already stopped producing Betamax video cassette tape recorders in 2002. The format eventually sold 18 million recorders, and cassette sales peaked in 1984 with an annual total of about 50 million.